Backpain Blog

Helpful information about the neck, back, and other musculoskeletal pain and disorders. Tips for a healthy back and neck.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Adult Torticollis- Neck pain from "sleeping wrong"



The story is always the same. “Doc, I went to bed fine, but when I woke up I couldn’t turn my head, I had to use my hands to lift my head up this morning, and I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck!”

This is typical of a condition called “Torticollis”. One type of torticollis is “Congenital Torticollis” that occurs in infants and young children. But we will be discussing “Adult or Acquired Torticollis”.

Symptoms
In the majority of the cases, a person wakes up with a stiff and painful neck and sharp pain when trying to turn or tilt towards one side. If you had this condition and looked at yourself in the mirror, you might even see that your head is slightly turned, tilted, or even shifted to one side. For example, you might have pain on the right side of your neck and are tilted and turned slightly towards the left. In this case, turning or tilting your head right would cause excruciating sharp pain and looking up would be painful as well.

What causes it?
Many cases of this condition occur for no known cause, however there are several well known factors that may be related.

Sleeping with the window open:
This occurs most often in the hot summer months when people go to sleep with their window open for air circulation. But then around 4am when the temperature drops the neck muscles stiffen and cramp and lead to a change in the neck reflexes that don’t allow the tight muscles to loosen later.

Sleeping in an awkward position:
Whether you’re over-tired or have had a little too much alcohol, sometimes people will get their head or neck into a position from which they don’t move for several hours. The worst is when people sleep on their stomach and turn their head 90 degrees towards one direction so they can breathe, but also sleeping without a pillow or a shallow pillow can cause it. In the latter case, the neck is tilted too sharply towards the bed. For example, a person sleeping on their left with too shallow a pillow might have the joints on the left side of the neck jam or freeze in place while the muscles and other soft tissues on the right side of the neck are over-lengthened. It can also occur when one sleeps on their back on too many pillows causing their neck to be overly flexed during the night.

History of an unusual activity the day before:
Many times a person will report that they had done an activity outside of their normal routine the day before they woke up with the neck pain. Examples are people who are packing and moving homes, gardening, watching TV or a movie with their head turned one direction for the whole time, or beginning a new exercise in the gym. They don’t usually feel any problem the day of, but wake up feeling it the next morning.

What’s going on inside my neck? – Catch 22
In this type of Torticollis, one or more of the small joints along the back side of the neck called “facet joints” become jammed or locked. The small supportive muscles of the neck that are usually controlled by unconscious reflexes (the muscles you don’t even know you have until you have this condition) contract and hold the joint in a protective manner so as to avoid what it “thinks” is further damage to the joint. There is a swelling reaction around the joint as well. It is the swelling and the prolonged contraction that cause the pain. Here’s the catch. The joint can’t move normally because the muscles are holding their position, but the muscles won’t loosen because they feel the joint out of position.

Can it be treated?
Over the counter drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can temporarily help the pain and swelling. In severe prolonged cases, injections into the joint are sometimes used. However, most cases are self-limiting and do not require such drastic treatments. An average case of adult torticollis usually lasts from 4 to 7 days. Many people have to take a few days off work because they can’t drive or because the pain is too severe while working. X-rays are sometimes taken, but in typical non-serious cases, x-rays do not show the cause of the torticollis.

Conservative treatment:
Physical therapy employs a technique called Neuromuscular re-education in which proprioceptive neurofacilitation (P.N.F.) is used. After a therapist performs passive range of motion (ROM) in the pain-free range, they then use these longer named techniques which basically involve gentle isometric contraction into or away from the side of pain. The treatment reproduces the pain because it in effect “re-sets” the normal muscle reflexes much in the way that a computer can be “re-booted” when something goes wrong. Other helpful modalities may involve ice, heat, ultrasound, electric muscle stim., and traction.

Is chiropractic safe for treating this condition?
All of the above helps address the muscular reflex and spasm part of the condition, however the deeper joint issue should also be addressed. A chiropractor can help with this, however, it is very difficult to receive an adjustment (even if you’re already used to getting adjusted by a chiropractor on normal days) unless the physiotherapy involving resetting of the muscle reflexes and range of motion is done first. Otherwise, the tendency of the muscles will be to fight the adjustment.
In my own practice, I spend the majority of the time first performing these physiotherapies and then preposition the head in several different positions to see which would be the most comfortable for an adjustment. If there is no position possible without sharp pain, then I either use a light force adjusting tool (Activator) or don’t adjust the person at all at that time. When a patient is able to handle an adjustment, there is usually a sharp pain followed by instant relief and a relaxed feeling in the muscles. However, the muscles usually try to follow their newly learned habit and retighten over a few hours, but to a lesser degree. It is not uncommon for someone with this condition to come in for treatment in the morning, and then return for a follow up the same day in the evening. Typically after 3-4 treatments, the joint moves well enough to allow the muscles to calm down on their own and the person is able to function more normally.

Without treatment, torticollis usually will resolve on it’s own in 5-7 days. With proper conservative treatment, the majority of the condition usually resolves in 2-3 days. There is commonly left over soreness for about 1 week, but 90% of the motion with no sharp pain. It is crucial not to repeat sleeping in the wrong position again during this recovery phase.


Warning: If your neck is extremely stiff in every direction or you have lightning shock-like pains down your entire spine and especially if you have an accompanying fever and/or nausea/vomiting, you should seek immediate medical attention as you may be suffering from meningitis or some other severe life threatening neurologic condition. If you are not sure, call 911 or an advice nurse at your nearest hospital to discuss the symptoms. Rare cases of adult torticollis can also be related to fracture, tumor, or infection.

87 Comments:

  • At 4:46 PM, Blogger Jayanti said…

    Thank you so much, this was very useful

     
  • At 6:58 PM, Blogger segarst138657 said…

    wow. this was EXTREMELY helpful to me. this explains to a T the symptoms that i am having. i went to my chiropractor today and had an adjustment after experiencing unbearable excruciating pain, and he told me the same things. but this was much more detailed. i am relieved to find out that this is not a serious injury...i was so worried. thank you so much; again, VERY helpful!
    -tiffany

     
  • At 6:10 AM, Blogger Dave said…

    I woke up this morning with this exact symptom! I took a couple of extra strength Tylenol and now have a dull ache in my upper neck area. This happens to me about once every-other month, or if I have been staring down at my computer screen for the whole day without taking appropriate breaks. The pain lasts for a couple of days and then subsides.

    I have found that sleeping on my back with a firm pillow under my head and neck helps ease the pain a lot quicker.

    If I cough, I can feel the tension in my neck and shoulders.

    Thanks for this article. I now know that there is a name for the condition.
    Dave

     
  • At 3:28 PM, Blogger Gregory B said…

    This post was very helpful to me.

     
  • At 2:35 AM, Blogger AriSoroka said…

    At 4:00 am my son woke me up. "Dad I have extreme neck pain." he said. His head was tilted to the right. Your blog confirm my suspicion. First I made sure he could put his chin on his chest without pain to rule out meningitis. Then iced the area gave him tylenol and then ibuprofen to reduce the swelling. I also gave him a muscle relaxant to helpease the pain. thanks for putting a name to this unkown malady and helping to ease my pain of "not knowing". Oh yeah, we will be seeing an . MD tomorrow just to be sure!

     
  • At 5:27 PM, Blogger summer.livia said…

    Thankyou so much for this info! Really helped me out.

     
  • At 8:23 AM, Blogger Chelsea said…

    Thanks so much. Yesterday I slept on my stomach with the window open after working out 20 minutes before bed. (So I imagine my muscles were very warm.) This morning I was terrified and couldn't lift my neck. Even now I'm sitting with an icepack and a support wrapped around my neck to relieve the pressure. I was worried about paralysis and other serious problems, but this calms me down tremendously.

    Thank goodness, thank goodness.

     
  • At 12:32 PM, Blogger me said…

    Thank you, this helps a lot. Good post.

     
  • At 7:01 AM, Blogger Scerin said…

    Wow. I slept on my stomach and had my window open last night. My neck is killing me. At least I have some insight as to why.

     
  • At 4:02 AM, Blogger Shannon said…

    Great article! THANKS!!! It has inspired me to get a new pillow... :)

     
  • At 9:06 AM, Blogger Anjelle said…

    Great article! This is exactly what I am experiencing. I am on Day 5 now with extremely severe pain. Our A/C went out on a day when it was 100 degrees. When we got it fixed late in the day, we turned it rather low to get the house cooled back down ASAP.. and, yes, I fell asleep. The next morning I woke up with this horribly sore neck and felt like all of my neck and shoulder muscles were tightened up. Alas, so far, the ibuprofen isn't helping at all. I'm hoping that time will, in fact, work.

     
  • At 7:49 PM, Blogger Dr. Joe said…

    Anjelle, that's a little long to still be having a severe level of pain. You may need a little help beyond the IBP in this case. Can you Email me?

     
  • At 5:30 PM, Blogger Steve said…

    This is exactly what I have been experiencing since I woke up this morning. It took me about 20 minutes to get out of bed, I took some Tylenol but the pain in the right side of my neck and back seems to be getting worse. This had to happen on the first day of my vacation of course.

     
  • At 5:34 PM, Blogger Steve said…

    This is exactly what I'm experiencing. It took me close to 20 minutes to get out of bee this morning. I took some tylenol but the pain in the right side of my neck and back seems to be getting worse as the day progresses. Of course this happens on the first day of my vacation as well.

     
  • At 3:52 PM, Blogger Eileen said…

    I tried lifting weights in a different way - the next morning, I had a stiff neck. I did some neck stretches and the next morning the pain was worse!! The 3rd morning, I was still in pain, so I took the day off.

    I called my doctor (who was too busy to book a same day appt) and he prescribed a muscle relaxant. I also used a cervical neck pillow right under my neck, when I slept on my back.

    I am feeling much better. Another night of the cervical pillow and muscle relaxant and I think my problem will be resolved!!

    Note: It really helps to brace your neck with your hand, if you do need to bow your neck to wash your hair or something.

    Anytime I got up from my bed, I made sure I didn't use my neck muscles. I used the neck pillow to support my neck, when I went to lay down or get up.

     
  • At 11:16 PM, Blogger fiona said…

    hi, its very informative, Back Pain Exercises , thanks

     
  • At 4:32 PM, Blogger Davis Cup Captain said…

    Thanks! I've experienced this off and on for the last five years and have never gotten it diagnosed. One other symptom I usually experience, such as right now, is having trouble breathing. Is that also common?

     
  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger Henry said…

    Like Davis cup, I've experienced pain in my neck for many years. Usually have it in the morning, when I sleep wrong I guess.

    It is also the cause of morning headaches due to the pain.

    At times, the pain and headaches (rear headaches) stay with me all day. My neck is also usually stiff and I find I must POP it by rocking my head left and right. Stretching also feels good.

    However this is really a pain and I'm so tired of it. I need to see a doc and figure out a better course of action.

     
  • At 8:46 PM, Blogger ntrits said…

    I have been in pain all day since I woke up this morning. My neck felt a little stiff and then I turned to say something to my son and then omg I really felt it. Can't turn my head to the right and it is so painful to look up at all. I have a small bulge on the back of the right side of my neck. My husband trying to be nice thought if he massaged it that would help. That unfortunately sent me in even more pain and made it worse. I am a little afraid to go to sleep tonight because I tried to lay down earlier and it is so uncomfortable. I dont know which way to sleep I dont want to make it worse.

     
  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger Kelly said…

    Great article!
    Wellness Blog

     
  • At 3:05 AM, Blogger XY said…

    Thank you for this post!

     
  • At 7:34 AM, Blogger AM said…

    Wow, thanks so much. I had no idea this was as common as indicated here. I've had pain all day yesterday from (I believe) a new pillow, one that I bought ironically for neck pain relief...It's good to know that seeing a chiropractor will speed up the healing and boy oh boy I can't wait for them to call back! This puts me at ease knowing that in a week I'll be normal again.

     
  • At 7:41 PM, Blogger ralph said…

    Hi,well last evenue of hope is here i guess.I've slept a lot recently up to 9 hours per day and then on my stomach with my head tilted sidewards.At first i startet experiencing normal neck pain which has not improved for about a month now,then i started developing a dull ache in the back of my head and the worst blow since about 3 weeks i've got permanent blurry vision,which can drive you insane.Has anyone got a notion to what this could be,if the pain will eventually go away or which docotr to consult,wouldlove any feedback,one mad german

     
  • At 7:46 PM, Blogger ralph said…

    What's up,hey well pretty much had similiar symptoms,just that mine are way more severe and prolonged.i first started having neck aches,after 9 hours of sleep for 3 months and that on my stomach with my neck bent an 90 degree angle,then istarted having a dull ache at the back of my head.now im going insane in the membrane because last but not least i developed a permanent blurry vision.this has been going on for a month now non-stop,feels like the Indi 500.Am desperate for any ideas or which specialist to consult in my case.before iam cruising looney tunes thought i would seek help here,if anyone knows about this,feel free to let it all out,one mad german

     
  • At 3:37 PM, Blogger Dr. Joe said…

    Ralph, You didn't leave a way to write to you directly, so I hope you recheck this blog. The symptoms you're having do not sound like classic adult torticollis. I would recommend an immediate check by a neurologist. The neck pain you're having may be from sleeping wrong, as you say, or could be something more serious. Please see the neurologist, Ralph. Bitte, mach es zu!

     
  • At 2:40 PM, Blogger ralph said…

    Thanks a lot doc,always a pleasure to know there are people out there who make an effort without wanting cash in advance for their professional advice.you rock!!!Guess the scariest part is the permanent blurry vision,went to my hausarzt today but that was a waste of time-Quacksalber,so i'll check out an neurologist and maybe i'll get lucky,vielen dank nochmals!!!Afrogerman

     
  • At 9:43 AM, Blogger Deborah said…

    I definitely have torticollis, the only thing that was different is that my white blood cells were elevated and I had a low grade temp. Does that happen with torticollis?

     
  • At 12:04 PM, Blogger Dr. Joe said…

    Deborah, Increased WBC's and low grade temp are not usually part of torticollis. What's more likely is that you're sick or fighting off a virus and your glands are swelling in your neck as they should when you fight off something. When this happens, the swelling stretches and tethers the muscle fibers in your neck causing a sense of tightness and limited motion as described in the article. As soon as your antibodies finish the job and the lymph glands return to normal, your neck will most likely feel back to usual again. If it doesn't, then seek treatment. (I'm assuming you've already visited your doctor if you know that your WBC's are increased)

     
  • At 2:00 PM, Blogger Teri said…

    I've had a pain in the top left hand side of my back for about 6 days now which I think I got from leaving a drop in temperature after leaving my window open all night. It travels down my left arm to my hand and is extremely painful. However if I lie on my back or on my sides it goes eventually but at soon as I get up and move around its back. I've tried painkillers and 'deep heat' but so far its still there. Any ideas?

     
  • At 1:47 PM, Blogger Sel said…

    Hello,

    My fiancee has been experiencing some severe pain in his neck since last Wednesday. It started off with a little knot in his neck. Now it's a huge knot in his neck. He is hurting all over his neck, back and shoulders. I don't know what's wrong with him. He said last Tuesday, he heard something pop in his neck and by Wednesday he was in a lot of pain. I feel helpless because I dont know how to help him.

     
  • At 1:51 PM, Blogger Sel said…

    My fiancee has been in a lot of pain since Wednesday of last week. What started out as a little knot on his neck has become a big knot now. He said last Tuesday something popped in his neck. Wednesday he woke up in excruciating pain. He has been running a fever. The pain has also gone to his shoulders and back and he said his head hurts so bad. I feel so helpless because I don't know how to help him. What can he do to relieve some of the pain?

     
  • At 6:25 PM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    I had a stiff neck after sleeping a couple days ago and just today went to see my chiro for an adjustment. It was very painful, but I powered through it. On my way home my neck became more and more stiff. In fact, the pain was so excruciating, I almost couldn't even bare the slightest bump in the road. Now, it's 4 hrs since the adjustment. I am no better, in fact, I am worse. I took a muscle relaxer which didn't help. Placed ice pack on my neck off and on. That didn't help either. I'm starting to get really nervous. Should I go to the hospital? I've NEVER had this severe pain before.

     
  • At 4:42 AM, Blogger Yousef said…

    thanks now i know what im dealing with but in my case i work on a truck i have i work on the wheels afternoon then i slept about 1 o clock after midnight and i had the aircondition turned to my head and when i woke up i couldnt move my head im only 16 years old so how long wil lthis last?

     
  • At 11:40 AM, Blogger michelle said…

    I've had this problem for 6 and half years. It's never gone away it only gotten worse. I'm now stuck to the left unable to move in any other direction now I losing feelin in my arms and legs they go numb.

     
  • At 2:58 PM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    I have had this same pain now for 2 weeks now. Today I am feeling some small spasms. It is really difficult to reposition during the night as it is very hard to move my neck. Should I have this looked at?

     
  • At 10:07 PM, Blogger My Traventure said…

    This was helpful...and I think the combo of pillows & leaving my window open contributed. But here's another concern....I have to have a swamp cooler on in order to deal with the extreme temps and when I come home from work after only a few minutes in the house I have painful joints all over my body from hands to feet to hips to neck...What can I do to help my situation?

     
  • At 8:03 AM, Blogger cate said…

    Thank You Dr. Joe..I woke this morning after a night's sleep with a fan blowing on me, neck pain as describe, miserable pain. You hit it right where it hurts!! Thank you, I'll take your advice, and just rest for a few days.

     
  • At 6:28 PM, Blogger Connie@pennyforpenny said…

    I'm so glad I came across your blog! Two days ago I slept with the windows open and the temperature did drop incredibly. Now I have a very stiff neck with sharp pain to one side and can barely swollow water. I saw my chiropractor and he was great. Instant relieve but still very stiff. Hours have passed since the adjustment and it feels like its back to where I started this morning but thanks to your blog I'm gonna wait it out a couple days and just take it easy.

     
  • At 5:56 AM, Blogger JR44 said…

    great post guys!

     
  • At 5:43 PM, Blogger teadrinker said…

    Wow, I know I got mine from sleeping on my right side, facing a very stiff breeze from a bedside fan. The left side of my neck's been stiff ever since!

     
  • At 5:44 PM, Blogger teadrinker said…

    OMG, I bet my stiff/sore left neck is due to me sleeping on my right side with my bedside fan blowing hard on me all night last month!

     
  • At 9:35 PM, Blogger rahul said…

    Guys . I got solution for this. Helped bigtime to me.
    Bengay ointment!!!! Applied on my neck for a day and pain disappeared. What a relief.

    Thought to share this with all pain bearers.

     
  • At 4:29 AM, Blogger Mer said…

    Ok mine is from the base of my skull to my shoulder blades...can't move my neck without paint.... and throbbing aches and numbing sensations all the way to my wrists... motrin alleviated pain by 5% or so... help!

     
  • At 11:51 AM, Blogger Quinn Starlet said…

    Hey there, I'm a teenage girl with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. My neck cannot move nor be moved even with my hands without severe shoots of pain in my neck and down my spine. Also here and there it throbs beneath my ear. I'm very puzzled because I frequently change positions in my sleep. Not sure if this is related to the E.D.S or separate?? I am really pain tolerate but this is truly unbearable-if you have info/suggestions please reply or hit me up! This is pretty insane!!

     
  • At 1:32 PM, Blogger sabrina said…

    Hello Dr. JOE,

    I hope you are still emailing people back on this blog I could really use your help!
    I am. 24 year old girl who woke up about 5 nights ago laying on my stomach in an awkward position and have been having non stop pain on the right side upper part of neck and going into my head feeling like a headache. My spine has recently started to feel a little uncomfortable in the past 3 hours upon waking up this morning. I made an appt to see my chiropractor on Monday because he is closed this weekend. The only thing that seems to give me any relief is icy/hot, ibuprofen is not working at all for me though. I hope you can help!

     
  • At 5:06 AM, Blogger pink996 said…

    This is very helpful. It's also happened to me instantly just turning my head too fast while sitting int desk. In this case, I woke up with a stiff neck and back. I may have slept wrong or the stretching exercises I performed last night are catching up to me.

     
  • At 8:34 AM, Blogger jessica 18yrs said…

    i woke up witha stiff neck and my head is tilted to the right i cant move it to the left.. i was soo scared but i googled it and i found your artical it helped alot thank you very much, God Bless you !!!!!God Bless You!!!!THANK YOU GOD FOR USING THIS ARTICA.

     
  • At 8:35 AM, Blogger jessica 18yrs said…

    thank you sooooo much!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • At 6:12 AM, Blogger BV said…

    Hey Dr. Joe, I actually woke up fine this morning, neck felt good. I tried to do some push ups and sit ups before work, and while doing sit ups I moved my neck a bit to the right and I heard 3 small cracks in the left side of my neck. Didn't think it was a big deal as I try to stretch my neck all the time.

    However, I now feel a ton of pain when I move or tilt my head to the left. In the mirror it's obvious that my head is leaning to the right to compensate.

    Icing it now, but wondering if I should be worried or do anything else.

     
  • At 7:20 AM, Blogger Maddi McKenna said…

    Hi Dr. Joe!

    Yesterday at around 9 am my neck started to hurt just on one side. There is extreme pain when I tilt or turn my head to the left side. It hurt all day yesterday and hurts just as much today. I am also starting to get a slight headache. I havent taken anything for the pain and this has never happened to me before. I mean I have slept on y neck wrong before but the pain alwasy went away that day or the next day. Can you email me? I am a bit worried about it. maddi.mckenna@gmail.com

     
  • At 3:14 AM, Blogger highlikethesky_1234@hotmail.co.uk said…

    hii i need some help a day ago i woke up and sat up and looked out the window and heard a weird sound in my neck i tried laying doiwn but i couldnt i was in soo much pain i could barely move, im on dayy 2 now and i am still in great more pain, anyone help? im the age of 15 andi dont want the pain anymoree!!

     
  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger Balaura said…

    How does one avoid sleeping in the wrong position again?

     
  • At 8:36 PM, Blogger kbod said…

    thanks for the info ..i woke with pain on right side of neck & base of skull over 1 week ago ,pain was very intense so i saw doc he prescribed antinflammatrys which seemed to do the trick ..however today i fell asleep in my chair on waking up i was in very severe pain but on my left side although it was my base of skull to top of head that hurts when i try move my neck .i took ibuprophen went bed woke in excrutiating pain unable to move my head or neck it just wont move & feels soo heavy,took all my family & many many minutes/hour of them lifting parts of me to get me out of bed .now sitting up in chair in soo much pain in my head my left shoulder/neck looks swollen & lopsided pain is off the scale worst ive ever had im my life & i cant move at all ..any sugestions welcomed thanks x

     
  • At 10:55 PM, Blogger ................. said…

    For those that said their pain lasted for more than what was described in the article, did you guys go to a doctor or seek help? What was the prognosis?
    My neck pain started today, and I am really worried, never been in so much pain before.

     
  • At 8:48 PM, Blogger Dr. Joe said…

    To "......." - You don't have to wait a week to go to the doctor if you want it to be looked at immediately. However, if you decide to try to wait it out, you certainly should have it looked at if it persists for more than a week. The first 2 days are the worst. If you woke up with it this morning, you're probably going to feel about the same tomorrow morning until you take a shower and get moving. The pain from adult Torticollis is pretty severe. But pleas don't make the internet your doctor. If you feel it's more serious than what's described here, get it looked at.

     
  • At 8:59 AM, Blogger Chethan S G said…

    Thank you so much for clarifying in detail

     
  • At 10:07 AM, Blogger Mike said…

    Dr. Joe, thank you so much for this article. I believe my symptoms fall into your description. Last night, my truck stalled on me, and I had to push it to the side of the road by myself. I did not feel any pain at the time, but this morning, I woke up with stiff neck(on the left side....its like on the upper trapez muscle.) I feel pain when I turn my head all the way to the left or right. I also feel pain on the top part of my left shoulder when I bend my neck back. What do you think? Thank you so much.

     
  • At 12:16 PM, Blogger annkasper22 said…

    Dr. Joe,
    I have the symptoms described above. However, it is normal for me to sleep on my stomache and have my head turned to one side. In fact, it is abnormal for me not to sleep in this position. So my question is, today is going on day 5 and the pain is not subsiding and am up half the night crying because I can not get comfortable. I visited the hospital 5 days ago and this is what they diagnosed me with but insisted that in 2-3 days I should have seen a significant difference. They prescribed 50mg of Ketoprofen 3 times a day (which made me terribly sick to my stomache even with food) and (15)5/325 of percocet. I have alternated between hot and cold packs and now run out of the pain pills and like I stated previously the pain has not subsided at all. I am low income so I cant just run to the doctor. What should be my best bet for next course of action?
    Thank you so much for your time!
    Momma with severe neck pain!

     
  • At 5:09 AM, Blogger lijeesh said…

    many thanks for this valuable informations.

     
  • At 5:10 AM, Blogger lijeesh said…

    Many thanks for this valuable informations.

     
  • At 7:02 PM, Blogger Rawrage said…

    My neck was feeling pretty rough this morning, but it took a serious turn, when I was about to turn off my computer and go to sleep, it suddenly just changed, now I cant even get into bed or turn my head without severe pain, atleast I know what it is now, though it sucks since I have an exam tomorrow which involves me looking down at a paper for 1-2 hours!!! great timing..

     
  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger Indiakeona said…

    I slept with the window open and I slept the wrong way. and my head hurts with the neck pain is that common?

     
  • At 4:16 PM, Blogger Chris F said…

    Thank you for posting this. Pretty sure this is exactly what I'm experiencing. I drank a little too much alcohol last night and slept in a tent in some horrible possition. I woke up, tried to move my head to the left and was immediately woken up by the worst pain ever. If I keep my head in one possition it feels fine but if I turn it, thats when I "strike the chord" so to speak and its unbearable. Hope this goes away soon. Thanks again

     
  • At 8:21 AM, Blogger Thefirstevil said…

    Thanks for the blog. This confirmed what I thought...

    You write to use hot/cold pack... Which is it? I was using a hot water bottle but should i not do that?

    Should i use a cold pack? can you explain which to use and why?

     
  • At 10:45 PM, Blogger kel said…

    I woke up this morning with excruciating pain down the left side of my neck. I have the classic tilted head to the right and I am not able to move my head to the left at all. I've tried codeine as I can't take ibuprofen and it still hurts. I've tried a heat pack to no avail. I also have a cold at the same time but no fever. Thanks for this article. I'm a 27 year old woman and had no idea what was going on.

     
  • At 1:23 PM, Blogger KaylaMarie said…

    Dr. Joe,

    Thank you for taking the time to detail additional information about Torticollis. I've had this pain now for about month. I've been to the physical therapist, ER, primary care physician, and now the neurologist. All suspect Torticollis, I've received a head and neck CT with no issues, however, I'm concerned the prescribed medication is too much for me to carry on with work, the commute, etc. What are the side effects of the Botox shot?
    Also, it seems like my pain is worse mid-day through the evening. My neck seems swollen as well. What additional tests can I request to ensure the condition is not something else (neurological, etc.)?

     
  • At 11:21 PM, Blogger Praveen Pandey said…

    Thanx for your post. i think u must try some cervical support products for your all types of cervical pain. Cervical Support are the best solution for cervical pain, Healthgenie is providing ortho supports of various brands such as lp, tynor, paramount at huge discount.

     
  • At 6:03 PM, Blogger Raquel Retana said…

    how many days does it last? Yesterday morning is when I woke up and it hurt to turn my head to the left .

     
  • At 6:45 PM, Blogger Lynxgirl said…

    Thank you for this informative site I have had my neck bent to the right all day today, it started 2 days ago when I was sleeping on my tummy... The pain is pretty bad and extends down to my shoulder blade on the right side.
    I took an alive and am laying on my back with the heating pad turned to high hoping to muddle thru this the heat really helps also took some magnesium as well and vitamin c hope to god I can move better tomorrow

     
  • At 8:51 PM, Blogger Anil Kumar Sah said…

    thanks doc

     
  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger michael john said…

    A lot of information in the article are very helpful to our Treatment, very good article, Keep up the good! It is worthy of my learning,thank you for sharing this info.
    Neck Pain Treatment

     
  • At 9:01 PM, Blogger Mike Chajecki said…

    Thank you so much, very good information.

     
  • At 10:03 PM, Blogger Jessie Graham said…

    thank you for the info very useful went to the doctor and they told me this is what was wrong but no other explaintion was really given

     
  • At 7:54 PM, Blogger gemini16th said…

    I wake up periodicly with same symptoms(painful and very scary): my head locked to the left-side, and unbearable pain up thru my head when trying to straighten it. After a few attacks, I discovered by slowly "shrugging" my sholders up & down(sitting up or standing), it slowly loosened the neck muscles and then I could begin to straighten my head forward normally. Hope this helps anyone else effected with this painful nussiance.

     
  • At 8:03 PM, Blogger gemini16th said…

    I feel for anyone else like myself suffering with these painful attacks!(head stuck to the side/searing pain in head upon trying to straighten it- very scary. After a few late-night attacks in bed, I discovered by gently "shrugging" my shoulders up & down(sitting up in bed or standing) it slowly loosens the neck muscles and I can gradually turn my head. You may want to see your Dr. about possible "Torticollis", plus use a theraputic-type pillow for relief- hope this helps!

     
  • At 6:04 AM, Blogger Moses Chang said…

    Wow, exactly what happened to me. Thank you so much for such a detailed and well-explained article!

     
  • At 7:43 PM, Blogger bma1980 said…

    Hey, I woke up 3 days ago with my neck stuck to they left and still can't get it to budge at all whatsoever. Very sharp, extreme pain and now vomiting today much of the day. Very hard to vomit with your neck not moving to even hit a pan and so afraid I'm gonna aspirate on it if I do it tonight while trying to sleep. Hope this goes away quick.

     
  • At 3:34 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
    chiropractor chiropractor

     
  • At 3:18 AM, Blogger Alma Escalante said…

    Thanks i just went to the em for this i tought it was really sevear . So informative.

     
  • At 5:12 AM, Blogger shumaila awan said…

    very informative and helpful for those people they are facing the problem of neck pain ......very uuseful

     
  • At 8:20 PM, Blogger JaimeAnn said…

    Great article! And so glad to see the dr replies! This was day 2 of pain for me. I believe 8ts from me sleeping wrong or turning quickly the other day. Theres a "kn9t" @ the base of my skull on the right side and it feels better if I massage it. I feel the tenseness go from there down into my shoulders and upper back. Sleeping with ice and doing neck stretches. Anything I am missing?

     
  • At 1:33 AM, Blogger adson stone said…

    Hey I my friends I tell you something can you give me answer Our mind and body organism thrives on comfortable, regular routine, and I find it much easier to fall asleep and wake happily when the times are consistent. Even if your evening time changes, try to keep your rising time consistent. This way your body always will know when to wake and you'll avoid that feeling of having gotten up "on the wrong side of the bed." I now barely need to set an alarm, because my body always wants to wake at 6am.
    warm whiskers

     
  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger steph fay said…

    how are you able to decipher the difference between meningitis and torticollis

     
  • At 7:01 PM, Blogger Reddy Mahesh said…

    Thank you sir

     
  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger Suzanna Stepanyan said…

    hi,
    i woke up yesterday morning not being able to lift my head at all. i had help getting out of bed while i was screaming from the pain. i cant brush my teeth, take a shower, drive , sit down get up or anything for that matter with feel sever pain from my neck to my back. i feel every movement. My chiropractor says i have torticollis but it is hard to believe that this much pain can be from muscles. i am pregnant and cant take any medications. do you have any suggestions for me.

     
  • At 3:45 PM, Blogger Heather Roberts said…

    The chiropractor diagnosed me with this a few days ago and my symptoms do seem to fit. I got torticollis from sleeping wrong a number of nights in a row. I have had this for 1.5-2 years, however. What course of treatment do you suggest for someone who has had this condition for so long and how long do you think treatment may take for me to return to normal?

     
  • At 8:27 AM, Blogger Michael said…

    Great information! I felt better after reading the explanation here and finding it was precisely what I was experiencing.

    A week later I still have a sore neck, but nowhere near where it was on days 1 and 2.

    Two things that really helped;
    1. Heat: I filled a sock with uncooked rice, microwaved it for 1:30, and put that on whenever i could.

    2. Tiger Balm: This is stinky and messy, but it really makes a noticeable difference. Use it several times a day.

     

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